Home » Dating Tips » Approach or Avoid: How Your Dating Motives Can Make an Impact

Approach or Avoid: How Your Dating Motives Can Make an Impact

Dating Approach Impacts OutcomeHow do you feel about dating? Is it a necessary evil to avoid being single? Or is it a serious of social interactions to open your mind and further your circle of friends?
In psychology, they say that we are motivated to achieving goals in two distinct ways — moving towards a desired or positive end state (called appetitive or approach) or to avoid undesired or negative end states (aversive/avoidance).
Let’s put this in dating terms. When you are talking to a person you are interested in, you turn towards them, lean in and maybe even touch them. But if the date isn’t going great, you may shift your position a bit so you aren’t facing them, cross your arms or even avoid any kind of contact.
We lean into what we want or are interested in and push away/lean away from those things you wish to avoid.
Typically, it is our human nature to utilize one or the other depending on situation, but our personality usually dictates one as our “go to” motivation response. In dating, one way can have a more positive impact than the other.

People who fall into the approach motivation category have an easy time gearing up for challenges they may face, such as re-entering the dating pool. They are better at moving forward seeing the potential the new adventure holds for them. Each date is a new adventure.

Singles who fall into the avoidance category are motivated by fear of failure or even FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). They are cautious and don’t want to make a mistake. They are not comfortable with the risks involved in the dating game and even hedge when it comes to making a commitment. What if there is something better out there? What if he isn’t the one? They get stuck. They find the ruts of behavior more comfortable than seeking new paths.

So, how do you shift your perspective in dating? A couple of ways:

1) Work on Your Motivation
Instead of seeing a first date as a means to an end, think of it as a beginning to something great. Put a bit of positive spin into your future focus. Work towards finding the right one rather than just not being alone.

2) Get Off Cruise Control
Sometimes our minds get into habits. We have habitual thought processes, driving routes and even operating procedures for showering. Get your mind off cruise control. Take back your thought processes. When you feel like you are drifting into negative territory, shift gears. One of the easiest ways to do this is with the “if/then” action plan. “If I think this, than that”.

3) Work Towards, Rather Than Run Away
Know that every date is a step towards your goal of finding that special someone. That getting to know someone, and yourself, is part of the dating process. Its not an easy process, but it isn’t something to be afraid of either.

Comments are closed.